Bones and All

Bones and All

Amazon Film
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A romantic horror, Bones and All follows a young woman and a drifter on a journey to unravel the terrifying past that has led to their cannibalistic tendencies. More of a coming-of-age romantic drama than a gore filled horror.

Horror is an all-consuming genre that can successfully take bites out of others. Comedy is a common pairing. Sci-fi works well. Bones and All makes its own unique flavour by serving up a romantic road movie so sweet that it skips straight to dessert.

That is, until you chew on the icing made from human skin…

What Is Bones and All About?

Maren (Taylor Russell) and her father have been moving from town to town for years due to Maren’s uncontrollable urge to eat human flesh.

After her late night sneak out serves up the wrong kind of finger food, her father abandons her and just leaves behind some money, her birth certificate, and a cassette tape to fill her in on just how early Maren’s compulsions began to manifest.

Unsure of how to live her life, Maren decides to track down her mother, Janelle, based on nothing more than the birth certificate listing Minnesota as her birth town.

After a stealth horror opening, Bones and All quickly reveals its true secrets: a romantic road movie.

Yes, this movie ostensibly about cannibalism is only a hop, skip, and chomp away from The Fault In Our Stars style YA movie about yearning, feeling different, and new blossoming love.

That it doesn’t become saccharine is thanks to the lingering scent of death that permeates every scene; Russell and fellow ‘eater’, Lee (Timotheé Chalamet, Dune) sell the romance as a sweet and genuine thing.

Bones and All Official Trailer

Is Bones and All Worth Watching?

Through very vulnerable performances Chalamet and Russell breathe life into their characters. Chalamet’s quiet magnetism is used perfectly; the scenery is the one thing he isn’t chewing!

Star-crossed lovers. Kindred spirits. Soul mates. Whatever you want to call it, the chemistry between the two leads is one that, crucially, makes their bloodier acts seem like an innocent twist of fate where no responsibility lies in their stained hands.

Director Luca Guadagnino – no stranger to coming of age movies – imbues the ‘road trip’ aspect with skilled pace. As our outcast pair drive from state to state they struggle with internal justifications, recoil from others who seem less disciplined than they do, and find comfort in their shared exclusion from the world.

For large chunks of the movie you’d be hard pressed to call it a ‘horror’ at all.

Mark Rylance puts in a shudderingly intense performance as old hand Sully, whose loneliness latches on to Maren with determined force. His infrequent scenes ensure that the coming of age sentiment is never safe to rest on its laurels.

Even so, for such a gruesome central conceit, it is arguable that Bones and All dials back the reality of its horrific compulsions a little too much.

It’s amazing how quickly you adapt to the concept that certain characters are likely to become dinner, because aside from a (missing fingers) handful of times the actual consumption is pushed to the side.

There was room to add gore such as that you would never become accustomed to the concept. Such an opportunity has been deliberately pushed aside to focus instead on the humanity of our central duo.

Yet, bolstered by a highly emotive score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Bones and All succeeds by the skin of its teeth. In the dying moments it won’t be the mouthful of red that you savour: it will be the heart.

Words by Mike Record

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  • Chalamet And Russell Are Strong Leads
  • Gorgeous Score
  • Successfully Mixes Genre
  • Rylance Is Excellent


  • Arguably Steps Back Too Much From The Gore
  • Rather Unbelievable Intro The Concept
  • Can't Go With The 'Smell You Out' Thing


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